High Tech High School

From initial vision and project inception through the first day of classes at the new charter High Tech High School was a scant five months. The vision of founder, educator, and benefactor, Brook Lenfest, and the first of a number of successful new charter schools that he founded, High Tech High School occupies a four-story former labor union office and medical facility in the Independence Historic District of Philadelphia.

The programming and design effort for the 54,000-sf secondary school had to be completed in rapid succession, in order to meet the upcoming academic schedule. This required very close cooperation with the new faculty and general contractor in selecting and sourcing readily available, durable materials and furnishings, while making significant accessibility and life-safety upgrades and permits.

Simple materials, the use of bold color blocks, aluminum and glass framing, and open ceiling grids were employed in both flowing en-suite spaces and traditional classrooms settings along with numerous gathering spaces aimed at encouraging constant interaction between students and faculty. A multi-purpose assembly space serves as the gymnasium and cafeteria.

Owner / Client: Brooke Lenfest / Mastery Charter High School